It is fair to say that at Plastic Surgeon, we go out of our way to help our clients solve their problems: and that the business is as much about service standards as it is about the many technical skills in which our Finishers are trained. However, just occasionally our sales team and Operations Managers have to tell people that a particular building component or surface finish is beyond economic repair – even though we continue to invest in new repair techniques and adaptations of existing ones to deal with the industry’s ever changing palette of products and materials.
Occasionally, also, a new customer or a desperate site manager working for an existing one will contact us with a problem which physically goes beyond the scope of #cosmetic repair; normally moving into the realms of structural repair, or which requires such large quantities of raw material that it becomes unrealistic for our logistics and supply chain.
An example of the economies of scale at work can be seen when you look at concrete repair. Lots of our contracts addressing building exteriors involve making good areas of frost spalled, chipped and even corrosion damaged concrete.
Using exterior grade two-part fillers and our colour matching processes involving different aggregate types and pigments, the Finishers often repair reinforced concrete lintels or cills: restoring them to a state where they not only pass visual inspection but will continue to give solid service for many winters to come.
However, where a building owner or perhaps a highways engineer has a multi-storey block of flats or a motorway bridge showing signs of concrete cancer – they need to contact a concrete repair specialist with the specific abilities to replace high tensile steel bars and deal with issues such as neutralizing carbonation.
Often, though, the ‘cut off line’ for cosmetic repair is decided by the situation or the exact location of a damaged item. For instance if they know that a sink or basin worth £60 is chipped or scratched, then most site managers wouldn’t let it be installed. Once it is in place, however, with tiling and worktops fitted around it, and it gets damaged it’s a different story. Switching the item for a new one becomes far more time consuming and difficult. Likewise damaged bricks or clay pavers are a completely different kettle of fish once laid.
Overall Plastic Surgeon reckons to save clients an average of £3 for every £1 spent on our services, while over the average year we save hundreds of tonnes of perfectly salvageable building components from being sent to landfill. Be assured wherever our staff can predict that a job is neither economic nor sustainable, we will not attempt it – which is exactly why we turn down very few challenges!